South Korea : Budae Jjigae 부대찌개

와!부대찌개 - Meal

September 2012.
Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.
If you have been to South Korea one of the dishes you bound to encounter besides kimchi, BBQ and Bibimbap is a variety of stews known as jjigae. Of them all, perhaps the most commonly known jjigae is a fusion of East and West jjigae that originated from the Korean War era.

놀부 - Brother Mok

According to my Korean friends, the Budae Jjigae, also known as Army Base Stew (部隊찌개 in hanja) came about when food was scarce in wartime Korea and the people had to make do with the little food they have. So they gathered the food rations including sausages and SPAM provided by the Americans and added local ingredients such as kimchi and tofu and mix in a red, spicy and delicious soup base and the end result is a communal dish unique to South Korea.

놀부 - Theater

The dish can be now found in many restaurants though some claimed the best are in Uijeongbu or Itaewon where the American military bases. It is easy to understand why this dish is so popular among the locals because it is easy to prepare, there is something for everyone, flexible (you basically add what other premium ingredients you desire.), affordable and easy to share.

와!부대찌개 - Menu

Wa! Budae Jjigae 와!부대찌개
경기 안산시 상록구 사동 1155-11번지
This cozy little neighbourhood eatery specializes in Budae Jjigae and it is only run by a friendly auntie. The banchan featuring kimchi, rolled omelette, tofu skins and Jwipo Bokeum (Dried Cuttlefish) is very appetizing with the rice.

와!부대찌개 - Banchan
와!부대찌개 - Budae Jjigae

A medium size Budae Jjigae cost 21000 KRW (enough for 3-4). It has spam, sausages, mushrooms, Korean green chillies, cheese, tteok, onion, tofu and rang myeon among other stuff added to the red, hearty gochujang soup base.

와!부대찌개 - Pork Bulgogi

If the budae jjigae is not enough, the restaurant also does a pretty yummy and spicy daejji bulgogi.

IMG_9654

Nolboo 놀부
Various Locations
Nolboo is a Korean chain of restaurants. The chain restaurant also serves Budae Jjigae at an affordable price and you can easily find them in many parts of Seoul, similar to Wa! The ingredients are roughly the same expect here they also added bell peppers and salami.


놀부 - Rang Myeon

While the jjigae at Wa! Was prepared in the kitchen and warmed up for you at the table, Nolboo serve it with its ingredients nicely arranged then pour some hot stock into it and letting it boil at the stove on the table. Its more theatrical and the sight of it boiling as well as the aroma definitely made us hungry and excited for the meal.

놀부 - Budae Jjigae

Once it is simmered to a thick and rich paste you could add in rice and cook it for a bit too. The jjigae here cost about 6000-8000 KRW per person.

놀부 - Menu

Nolboo 놀부

경기 안산시 상록구 사동 1155-11번지

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